Manchester City Women begin their Champions League campaign tonight with the first-leg of their last-32 fixture away at Lugano. But who are their opponents?
Football Femminile Lugano (FF Lugano) are based in the Swiss city of Lugano in the Italian-speaking region of the country.
Lugano were formed in 1976 and have won just two trophies since then, winning the second division title in 2012 and 2014.
Last season, they finished as runners up in Nationalliga A, the top women’s league in Switzerland.
Tonight’s match against City will be their first ever appearance in the Champion’s League.
The 25 strong squad features 16 American players with Lugano a popular location for university students to transfer to so as to improve their football.
The players are provided with rent-free accommodation on the side of Lake Lugano and Italian classes to help them settle in to their new surroundings.
Defender Lina Granados was included in Colombia’s squad for the 2015 World Cup.
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Lugano’s president is Emanuele Gaiarin, an Italian-born American who owns a wine wholesale company in Washington D.C.
He has been keen to incorporate the elite level of coaching in Europe with the high skill of American university players.
FF Lugano play their home games at the Stadio di Cornaredo, which has a capacity of 10,500.
The stadium hosted one match in 1954 World Cup as Italy beat Belgium 4-1.
Players have been handing flyers around the streets of Lugano in an effort to increase the number of spectators at the match tonight.
But, the attendance is still expected to be well below the record crowd at City’s derby win last weekend.
So far in the Nationalliga A this season, Lugano have drawn one and lost two. Their last match was a 3-2 defeat to the current league champions Zurich.
Manchester City have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League on two occasions but suffered a disappointing loss to Atletico Madrid at this stage of the competition last year.
FF Lugano will be hoping for a similar result when they take on City tonight at 8pm BST.
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